Root Cause Analysis and Corrective Action Plans go hand in hand

Quality | Craig Wilson| April 2, 2019

Whenever there is a EHSQ (Environment, Health, Safety, Quality) event in a manufacturing facility, it is important to investigate and perform a thorough root cause analysis. The knowledge and understanding gained during this initial step is crucial, but ultimately futile, if it isn’t followed up by a corrective action plan that is effectively put in motion. Having a strong quality management system (QMS) will allow for analysis and action to go hand in hand in preventing future EHSQ events.

Root Cause Analysis

In this context, a Root Cause does not necessarily mean a singular issue that creates all problems, but instead refers to the underlying causes that are below the surface. Being able to objectively assess and examine all possible causes of an event will allow a manufacturer, through careful analysis, to isolate and remove the root cause. There are several researched methods available to manufacturers – The 5 Why’s, Ishikawa Diagram, Tripod Beta, and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) to name a few- with each presenting a different set of strengths and weaknesses when applied to specific work environments and management styles.

Corrective Action Plan

Corrective and Preventative Actions (CAPAs) should be implemented and tracked once a root cause is identified, and a plan put in place that deals with immediate causes and preconditions that could lead to recurrence. Knowledge gained from a root cause analysis will not lead to change by itself; improvement and growth will only be realized through action. Corrective actions can help to mitigate risk, increase levels of quality and efficiency, and improve the general work environment. This is, of course, easier said than done. An effective plan needs buy-in from all levels, reliable technology to document and track information, accountability, and commitment.

Catalyst Connection provides a number of services through their team of QMS Consulting experts. Having a solid quality management system in place will allow a company to have processes that can quickly identify root causes, and then effectively and efficiently implement preventative measures to ensure an event will not happen again. Services provided by Catalyst Connection that will help develop and manage QMS include:

  • Audit – independent internal auditors that provide industry specific investigations through objective analysis
  • QA Manager Development/Assistance – utilize Catalyst Connection to serve as a retained expert to manage your system
  • Source Inspection – providing product and process evaluations across the supply chain
  • Trainings – Teaching effective and practical tools to improve QMS in manufacturing

Catalyst Connection recognizes that EHSQ events need to be taken seriously. Analyzing and understanding the root cause is the first step, and implementing corrective actions is a vital next step follow-through to that knowledge. With a team of QMS experts ready to help in all phases, Catalyst Connection can help develop and maintain a manufacturer’s high standards.

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